Essentially, in It’s a Jungle in There, Schussler has presented some valuable entrepreneurial expertise to future small business owners. While it is at times unconventional, the underlying premise is that with a good amount of business acumen, a positive attitude and a little persistence, individuals who aspire to be entrepreneurs will presumably go far.
Predominantly, I have agreed with much of what Schussler has discussed from chapters 1 through 22. Although his methods are certainly eccentric his business outcomes have been exceptional which makes him an excellent mentor in the business world. Nevertheless, I must address my disdain with his idea of what perception management should entail. In case you missed it, “perception management involves acting in certain ways to create in others a specific impression of you.” Principally, Schussler encourages his audience to enact these methods to head off future dilemmas as well as dissuade any chances of interpersonal conflict. For me this concept screams fake and that’s not what I want to exude to my clients. Emanating authenticity is an excellent way to persuade clients to try your services and products without ever having to drop a dime on advertising. And, if you are successful and maintain your authenticity, your brand awareness will increase exponentially; as will your profits and your overall chances of maintaining a successful venture.
Let’s think celebrities…when a celebrity is introduced to the world, he or she (depending on their previous reputation) radiates innocence because no one is aware of their brand or what they’ll utilize their platform for. While they are trending and paparazzi are currently putting their business in the tabloids and blogs, society is able to gain access to moments that would have otherwise been private. It is oftentimes in these personal moments that individuals are able to get a more intimate look into who these celebrities really are. However, when the celebrity takes an interview and divulges information about themselves, making them both human and relatable, that individual becomes more connected to their audience and creates a bond with those who may share similar thoughts and feelings. Since this can totally be seen as a type of “perception management” I can better understand what Schussler was alluding to.
The infamous Kardashian-Jenner clan is legendary for this formula. By exploiting their lives through their televised reality series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians, “this family has pulled at the heartstrings of America’s youth and captivated teenagers and adults alike who relish in the opulent lifestyle the clan embodies. While all of the children are grown, America was able to watch these individuals mature and feel as if they are in more ways than one connected to these celebrities who lead extraordinary lives. Every time someone in the family initiates an entrepreneurial venture, they are wildly successful, and their products sell out within minutes of being launched (Sources connected to the launch disclose that Kardashian’s SKIMS pushed $2 million in product within the first few minutes of Kim’s campaign going live, and nearly every piece of inventory sold out in lightning speed.)
While I don’t have a platform like the Kardashians, or a publicist who will practice perception management for me, hopefully anyone I work with will genuinely get to know me and be pleasantly surprised by not only my business acumen, but my level of compassion, humility and meticulous work ethic.
Schussler, Steven, and Marvin Karlins. It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring. Union Square, 2011